Maccabi Haifa suffered its second heavy loss of the weekend to an NBA franchise after succumbing to the Sacramento Kings. The Israeli team travelled to the Kings’ Sleep Train Arena and often looked a step behind their opponents, while Sacramento will be pleased enough with the workout with the NBA season just around the corner.
Haifa is of course lacking NBA quality, but the Israeli team gave a decent account of itself, even if the Kings ultimately overwhelmed the team 91-59. Sacramento kept the visitors to 17 points or under in each frame and restricted them to 27.8% from the field, severely hampering Haifa’s chances in the game.
Sacramento Kings vs. Maccabi Haifa, 91-59
The hosts started well and had the best of the opening plays. However, starting center DeMarcus Cousins was being double and sometimes triple teamed by Maccabi Haifa and found it tough getting into the game early on. Cousins would later make an impact, but in Q1 the Kings moved on without him and opened a 22-12 lead.
Darren Collison and Ben McLemore were struggling from the backcourt for Sacramento and shot 2 out of 7 combined through the first half. That general lack of quality from the NBA team allowed Haifa to stay in touch, but at the long break the Kings had extended and led 39-28, holding a double digit lead at the buzzer.
The struggling Sacramento players finally started to make their presence felt on the hardwood during the third quarter. Maccabi Haifa was sloppy in defence, committing 37 personal fouls through the game and handing the hosts 45 attempts from the charity strip. The Kings down 26 points through the period and opened a 20 point lead after three quarters, the scoreboard reading 65-45.
While the Israeli team will be relatively pleased with their jaunt to the USA, they will admit that they have been soundly beaten. In the final quarter Sacramento drove home the gulf in class by pouring in another 26 points, putting some gloss on the final score and handing out a bit of a thrashing at the end.
DeMarcus Cousins was slow to get going, but in the end he paced to a double-double of 15 points and 12 boards. Collison too improved, finally collecting 12 points, an amount matched by Derrick Williams.
Demontez Stitt notched a game high 17 points for the downed Haifa, while Hector Hernandez added 11 points in the losing effort.